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Imperfect Control: Our Lifelong Struggles With Power and Surrender [Paperback]

By Judith Viorst (Author) & Viorst (Author)
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Item Number 153148  
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Item description for Imperfect Control: Our Lifelong Struggles With Power and Surrender by Judith Viorst & Viorst...

Addresses the issue of control--with its associated feelings of power, helplessness, freedom, and limitations--and how it affects every area of our lives

Publishers Description
In her remarkable national bestseller, "Necessary Losses, " Judith Viorst explored how we are shaped by the various losses we experience throughout our lives. Now, in her wise and perceptive new book, "Imperfect Control, " she shows us how our sense of self and all our important relationships are colored by our struggles over control: over wanting it and taking it, loving it and fearing it, and figuring out when the time has come to surrender it.
Writing with compassion, acute psychological insight, and a touch of her trademark humor, Viorst invites us to contemplate the limits and possibilities of our control. She shows us how our lives can be shaped by our actions and our choices. She reminds us, too, that we sometimes should choose to let go. And she encourages us to find our own best balance between power and surrender.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Imperfect Control: Our Lifelong Struggles With Power and Surrender by Judith Viorst & Viorst has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 64
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 53

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Free Press
Pages   448
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 13, 2003
Publisher   Free Press
ISBN  0684848147  
ISBN13  9780684848143  
UPC  076714014008  

Availability  0 units.

More About Judith Viorst & Viorst

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Judith Viorst is the author of many books for children, including the classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and its sequels. She lives with her husband, Milton, in Washington, D.C.
Lane Smith is the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. He also wrote and illustrated Madam President, John, Paul, George & Ben, and It's a Book, which were all New York Times bestsellers. He lives with book designer Molly Leach in rural Connecticut and can be visited at

Judith Viorst currently resides in Washington, in the state of District Of Columbia.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Mental Health > Emotions
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
3Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling
4Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > Personal Transformation
5Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > Self-Esteem

Reviews - What do customers think about Imperfect Control: Our Lifelong Struggles With Power and Surrender?

a "must" for everyone  Sep 23, 2007
if you have read "necessary losses" from the same author, and also if you have'nt, this book is a must for all of us. mrs. viorst has a clear and direct style with a good sense of humor. do yourself a favor and buy now!!
Thoughtful Viorst, Again  Jul 12, 2007
I've been reading Judith Viorst for years -- first reading "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-good Very Bad Day" to my children, a book in itself about imperfect control -- but somehow missed this one until recently.
There are many valuable sections, but the one on being a parent of adult children especially resonated with me. (I am horrified to hear the words -- unasked for -- of advice that seem to escape my mouth.) She approaches this section with her usual wry humor, and stories of her own stuggles with letting go of attempts to control her adult sons.
Whether a parent or not, there is much in this book to assist a reader in making peace with their lives, and hopefully making some better decisions about what we CAN control, while letting go of what we can't.
The chapter on death is worth the price of the book; I expect I will be re-reading it now and then. (It propelled me to update my Power of Attorney for medical decisions, since some laws have changed since last done.)
Such a wonderful and inspiring book for us control freaks!  Feb 7, 2007
I read this book a few years ago and sadly lent it to a friend and saw no more of it so I'm thinking of rebuying it at this site. Can't give you now any specifics on the contents. Just bear in mind this: if you have perfectionist, controlling, obsessive-compulsive tendencies (and who doesn't in big cities nowadays anyway?), buy this book. You'll treasure it. You'll laugh with it. And you'll get inspired to be happier and just let go of things, for a change. You won't be disappointed.
Great book on an important and ever present aspect of the human condition....  Feb 2, 2007
It's very difficult to imagine Judith Viorst writing a bad book. She is an excellent writer and gears her writing toward the existential crisis' of life, development, etc. As some reviewers suggest, she backs up what she say with a fair amount of references to psychological literature, but she is certainly credible and although the book doesn't read like a dime store novel, it's also very accessible to the average adult without any psychological training.

The dance between control and surrender is very difficult for most people and comes up in couples, the workplace and other areas of life. This is the main topic of the book and describes why this is so and how to work with it toward achieving peace of mind. Much of this work has to do with reframing the human condition and daily struggles we all face in a more realistic fashion. It's about finding the balance point between control and surrender moment-to-moment.

Some of the areas of particular interest to me were the chapters on taking possession of ourselves, who controls the couple, the power of sex, permanent parenthood and in control of death. This is all practical and serious stuff and often areas where people confront considerable pain. While this book or any book doesn't provide all of the answers on these difficult life questions in terms of surrender and control, it will give you powerful insights and more flexibility for dealing with them.
Worth a look  Sep 17, 2000
This book has very good summaries of psychological research on the issues of power and control. It would be a particularly helpful book for a student writing a paper in an undergraduate class. The book is not hard to read; I finished it in 2 days. I found her chapters on romantic relationships, parenting and work relationships helpful and gained insight into my own behaviour.

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